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Update Newsletters
30 July 2006 Issue

1. Leafleting Feedback

2. Getting Our Message Into Churches

3. Veg. Homes Needed for Exchange Students

4. Christianity and the Problem of Human Violence: The Letter to the Hebrews, Part 2

1. Leafleting Feedback

Victoria, reporting on leafleting at an Audio Adrenaline Concert at Robert C. Byrd High School in Clarksburg, WV, writes: Three youth groups reported a total of 319 booklets distributed! I work at a university and can distribute the leftover booklets to college students and some local churches.

Featured Upcoming Events

8/3 ME Old Orchard Beach God Is Crazy About You! with Mark Lowery

8/4-5 MO St. Louis Women of Faith Conference

8/4-6 IA Dubuque Christian Book Fair International 15,000 per day!

8/6 OH Wickliffe Steven Curtis Chapman Christian Concert

8/7-9 NY Darien Lake Kingdom Bound Festival with Third Day and 64 others!

8/9-11 CA Anaheim DC/LA Youth Specialties Training and Christian Concerts

8/11-12 CT Hartford Women of Faith Conference

8/18-19 PA Lewisbury Purple Door "Ski Roundtop" Christian Rock Festival

8/19 IN Ft. Wayne Women of Faith Conference

8/19 PA Pittsburgh Rebecca St James Christian Music Concert

8/20 IL Springfield Power Light Fest @ Illinois State Fair

8/26 TX Dallas Women of Faith Conference

For a complete list, including leafleting and tabling opportunities in your area, join the CVA Calendar Group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group.christian_vegetarian/. Read the home page, and then join. You will then be able to log in anytime to identify upcoming events in your region. Contact Paris at christian_vegetarian@yahoo.com if you might be able to help.

2. Getting Our Message Into Churches

CVA member Bruce Conrad writes: My talk at "Men's First Praise" at North Shore Community Baptist Church on June 3 went well. It felt good to do it and a few men that were there expressed feelings of solidarity with my message about honoring God's creation. It stimulated lots of good discussion.

3. Veg. Homes Needed for Exchange Students

Adrienne Eaton adrienne.eaton@ef.com writes: I work with a high school exchange organization. We bring wonderful youth to the US for a high school year. We have some students who are vegetarians and they often are more difficult to place as families feel that they will not be able to accommodate her eating needs. Therefore, I am wondering if you have any families that you could recommend, or if you would be willing to pass along information about our program to your members. This is a wonderful opportunity to share your world, your faith, and your beliefs with a student from another country. Thank you so much for any help you may be able to give.

4. Christianity and the Problem of Human Violence - 
The Letter to the Hebrews, part 2

[This series reflects my views and not "official" CVA positions. It is being archived at http://www.christianveg.com/violence_view.htm.]

Last week, we reviewed Hebrews 10-18. I suggested that Jesus death was a self-sacrifice to God’s will. Support for this view comes from chapter 9: “Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the Holy Place yearly with blood not his own; for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” (9:25-26).

The writer has said that, according to former sacrificial order, sacrifice needed to be repeated yearly. The reason is that people needed to regularly transfer their sins onto the scapegoat, which, the writer noted, is what has been happening since the foundation of the world. The writer also observed that the priest shed “blood not his own” – forcing animals to suffer the consequences of human sinfulness. The writer then pointed out that Jesus sacrificed himself in order to end all sacrifices.

This is the crucial difference. Previous sacrifices involved killing an unwilling victim. A Girardian reading indicates that Jesus chose to accept his destiny and to sacrifice himself for all humankind. Jesus did not want to be crucified – on the Mount of Olives “he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, ‘Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee; remove this cup from me; yet not what I will but what thou wilt’” (Mark 14:35-36; see also Matthew 26:38-39, Luke 22:42). Jesus was the sacrifice to end all sacrifices not because God had desired “sacred” violence or because Jesus wanted to die, but because Jesus needed to reveal that God does not want sacrifices. In other words, Jesus did not surrender to death, but rather he chose to die to serve God’s will.

If Jesus’ destiny was to stop the perennial violence against innocent individuals, he would need to reveal the scapegoating process, because it was no longer an option to have God destroy the world with a flood. Jesus could only demonstrate the scandal of scapegoating violence by becoming a willing victim himself, because he was unequivocally innocent. I do not think that either God or Jesus wanted Jesus’ death. However, the Son’s divine nature allowed him to see that submitting to the fires of scapegoating violence was the only way to undermine scapegoating.

Many Christians hold that Jesus’ death was designed to atone for humankind’s sin. However, if the “sin of the world” (John 1:29) is scapegoating, then scapegoating Jesus cannot be God’s desire. Many Christians regard “the sin of the world” as Adam’s “Original Sin,” which all humankind has inherited. There are problems with this theory, to which we will turn next.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

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